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I've booked a last minute holiday - what travel immunizations do I need?

Posted by Be Well

I've booked a last minute holiday - what travel immunizations do I need?
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If you have booked a last minute holiday, or need to travel abroad urgently, you still need to think about what immunizations or medication you'll need.

This will depend on several factors:

Where are you planning to travel? In some cases the region of a country is important.

When are you planning to travel? For example, you may need additional immunizations if you intend to travel during a country's rainy season.

How long do you intend to stay abroad? The longer your trip, the longer your protection against diseases will need to be.

Factors such as your age and general health are also important. For example, if you have any existing medical conditions that could affect your travel arrangements.

It's recommended you complete your vaccinations at least 6-8 weeks before traveling if possible.

Before you jet off

Your first port of call should be to speak with your doctor. They may then suggest you book an appointment with a specialist travel clinic.

If your trip is less than six weeks away, there are some last minute measures you can take to reduce the risk of disease.

For example, there may be some immunizations that you can have up to the time that you go away. Or you may be able to take medication that will reduce the risk of certain diseases such as malaria. Your doctor or travel clinic can also provide advice on avoiding diseases when you reach your destination.

This is particularly important for certain groups of people, who may need tailored advice before they travel. These include:

  • babies and young children,
  • elderly people,
  • pregnant or breastfeeding women, and
  • people with existing medical conditions.

Proof of immunization

It's important to remember that even if you have found the perfect last minute getaway, immunizations could be vital to your trip.

Some countries require you to produce an International Certificate of Vaccination before you can enter. This is usually the case in tropical locations, such as Africa and South America, where diseases like yellow fever are common.

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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